Christmas Tree Question

Updated on November 12, 2012
C.A. asks from Florida, NY
11 answers

My husband and I are very leary about putting up a christmas tree this year. We have a 4 yr old daughter and a 14 month old son that is into EVERYTHING! We decided that a real tree was not a good idea since he will play in the water and we don't want him eating the needles. We always put tinsle on the tree and we also decided not to do that either. We have a small livingroom so putting a gate around the tree would be really difficult. I know to put the good ornaments towards the top and the ones that are plastic towards the bottom. He is really good when we tell him no but we can't watch the tree every second of the day. Does anyone have any advice for us? Like what we can do to keep him from pulling the tree? We though about anchoring it to the wall for one. But what else can we do to prevent the tree from crashing down or him tearing it apart? My daughter never touched the tree so we are at a loss here. Thank you so much for any advice that you can give us. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

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So What Happened?

My daughter never touched the tree but since my son is into EVERYTHING we were just curious what we should do. But we went to the Polar Express in CT on Fri and they had lots of trees and he looked at it, touched it and I told him NO and he moved on. So maybe we are worrying for nothing. BUT their trees didn't have any ornaments just lights. So we will see what happens. Thank you all for your advice. We will def anchor it to the wall and use an artificial tree and I know very well to put the good ornaments on the top. Thank you again and hope you all have a VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!

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answers from Columbus on

We used a table top tree for a couple of years at that age -- they don't even remember that now that they're older and they were just as happy with it. But we put it on the dining room table, where they couldn't reach it, and had only plastic ornaments in case they did.

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answers from Columbus on

The years my kids were into the grabby stages, we used only the unbreakable ornaments. We even stocked up on some colorful plastic ones at the store so they could help decorate. I think only one time did my son actually pull on the tree. I was there when it happened and made sure I told him not to pull. I honestly believe that he felt the weight of the tree when he pulled and feeling it sway scared him enough to know not to try it again. I also added an overly expressed "Whoa!"
I think, though, that the more they can be a part of the ornament process the tree itself tends to be less of a draw.
Good luck!

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answers from New York on

Our boy is an October baby, we were worried too. We put up an artificial tree. He largely avoided it for about a week and a half. Then he took to stripping the low lying fruit (artificial berries) off the tree, and rearranging the ornaments. He wasn't rough or destructive with it however.

You've been given a number of tips on how to safegueard your tree and your children. use any or all of them.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

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answers from Austin on

Our living room has a cathedral ceiling, so we put our tree on a round coffee table... that always helped keep it up out of reach of curious kids....

Anyway... when my son was 3 or so, I allowed him to gently "rearrange" the ornaments on the lower branches.... they were not breakable... (the breakable ones were up high).....

One day, the 8 yr old (she tended to be very bossy, and 3 yr old always resisted HER telling him what to do), came in, and found him rearranging a few ornaments.... she ran toward him, yelling to leave it alone, and tried to pull the ornament away....

Guess what? Yep... the tree fell over.

No real harm done... yes, it did break a few ornaments.... but we put it back together. No one was hurt or anything...

A couple of suggestions...artificial tree (we've been using the same one for over 20 years, now, about 6 1/2 feet tall), and no tinsel..... and put the tree up on a small table, like an end table. Put it in the corner of the Living Room so it isn't quite so tempting, maybe?

ETA: We also have a Christmas Tree climbing cat...... (we have 6 cats, and one loves to be in the tree! The other's have explored it, but she is lighter and doesn't shake it as much as the bigger cats). She hasn't knocked it down yet, either.

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answers from Appleton on

When I was 10 or 11, Christmas Eve, my birthday, my best friend was over for dinner and my grandparents were due any minute. My friend and I were sitting in a chair right next to the tree and it wiggled and came crashing down almost on top of us. Scared the daylights out of us. My Mom called for my dad and he came running we got the tree back up and dad decided it must have been uneven in the stand........... so that's my story......

After that the tree was always placed in front of a window and we used a thin wire to tie it to the curtain rod. Wrapped one end of the wire to the tree top and the other end to the curtain rod. Never had a tree come down again.

However have come home to find the tree half naked because the cat thought it was the greatest toy we ever got her. I lost count of the number of times I found that silly cat sitting halfway up the tree looking at us like 'thanks, are we keeping this'. And another cat chewing on the wires for the lights.

AAAhhhhhhh memories.

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answers from Charlotte on

I have to tell you that we put up a real tree and had no problems. I let them help me decorate the bottom branches with all the non-breakable ornaments. I didn't use tinsel that year. We were in front of the tree all the time and my 12 month old didn't try anything he shouldn't have. With the baby, he was 8 months old and then a year and 4 months old, and no problems. Neither of them ever tried to eat the needles, either.

Some people as a matter of course anchor their trees to the ceiling with fishing line attached to a hook in the ceiling. I don't know if you want to put a hook in the ceiling or not, but that's a thought. I wish WE would have done it in one house we moved into. It had a high ceiling and we got a pretty tall tree. My husband didn't anchor it well into the tree stand, and it fell down and broke a lot of my expensive and nice ornaments. My kids didn't have anything to do with it.

Anyway, maybe your son will surprise you.

Good luck!

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answers from Grand Forks on

I had a friend who advised me to put the tree in the playpen, but neither of my boys bothered the Christmas tree. You could do a smaller artificial tree on a table.

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answers from Austin on

Some people put up baby gates around their tree.

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answers from Portland on

Get a small tree and put it up high. If you have a sofa table put it on the table behind your sofa ir put it on top of your entertainment center. Get a really small one and put it on one end of your dining room table.

Perhaps your son will be like your daughter and leave it alone.

My daughter only used non breakable ornaments on her artificial tree when her kids were that age. Then if they did pull the tree down it was no big deal. Those trees are pretty tough. They are also light weight in comparison to natural trees and will do little to no harm to your little one.

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answers from Chicago on

My friend anchored her tree to a railing so it would not fall.

They made a paper chain to decorate it. That was a fun activity for the older kids, and wasn't a hazard for the younger child.

Instead of hanging the ornaments with hooks, they used yarn or string. The metal hooks can be a definite hazard for young kids.

They didn't put any breakable ornaments on it at all, just in case the little brother turned into a climber or the tree did fall down. Mostly, I saw they decorated it with paper ornaments they made!

When I was little and my brother was at the dangerous stage my parents put the tree in the living room and gated the living room so he couldn't be in there by himself.

Good luck! Have fun!

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answers from Houston on

What about more indoor lights and lighted assessories in lieu of a tree but still giving a feeling of festivity?

1 mom found this helpful
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